Man City 0 - 2 Arsenal
With Southampton and West Ham continuing to pick up points, losing to Manchester City would have left Arsenal with an even bigger mountain to climb. The pressure was definitely on.
Thankfully, the first half was all Arsenal.
Wenger had clearly set out the midfield to counter Manchester City’s strength in the middle. And it worked.
The breakthrough came in the twenty-fourth minute, when Monreal was brought down my Kompany in the box. Cazorla stepped up, and smashed it home.
Although City had more possession, Silva was struggling to get on the ball, while Cazorla, Chamberlain and Sanchez were free to roam when Arsenal had the ball.
“City were creating more chances as the half went on, but Arsenal were holding on — quite brilliantly too.”
Arsenal’s resilience continued until half time, although City definitely stepped things up a bit when the second period kicked off.
City were creating more chances as the half went on, but Arsenal were holding on — quite brilliantly too.
Then, in the sixty-sixth minute, Cazorla whipped in a free kick, allowing Giroud to nod it past Joe Hart from close range. Arsenal were cruising.
“A clean sheet at city, with Cazorla grabbing a goal and assist to bring home the three points. Awesome.”
City tried to hit back. In the latter stages of the game, Aguero, Jovetic and Dzeko were all on the pitch, but The Gunners’ back four, protected by the excellent Coquelin, stood firm.
They did so right until the very end, too. A clean sheet at city, with Cazorla grabbing a goal and assist to bring home the three points. Awesome.
Arsenal Player Ratings
Had very little to do, actually. But he dealt with crosses well, and stopped a few shots from Navas and Dzeko.
Defensively solid, although he has a little moment when he didn’t listen to Ospina’s shout, giving away a corner. Becoming a consistent performer.
Made a few good tackles, read the game well.
Kept Aguero quiet, made good blocks and tackles.
Made an array of great tackles, and got forward brilliantly. An exciting player to watch.
Cazorla: [8.5/10] - MOTM
Santi grew into the game, scored a good penalty and grabbed an assist too. His dribbling was excellent throughout the game. Best run of form in an Arsenal shirt thus far.
The Ox: [7/10]
Made a few good runs forward, but looked very static at times. Although he posed a danger on a few occasions, Alex wasn’t making the right runs off the ball, in my opinion.
Played a massive role in today’s game, and was a contender for MOTM for me. Broke up play very well, made tough tackles, and never left his post. Also looked very fired up. Finally, a defensive midfielder with some grit.
Definitely rusty after a short-term injury. Passing wasn’t great, movement was slow, and wasn’t in the game a lot of the time. Looked very, very tired, too.
Sanchez: [6/10] - MOTM
Showed some good touches and brought the ball forward, but today wasn’t Alexis’ day.
Had a poor first half, but grew into the game in the second period. His headed goal was well taken, and he showed some exquisite touches throughout the second half.
Santi Sinks City
Arsene got his tactics spot on today. Finally.
The Gunners were compact, disciplined and ready to strike on the counter. David Silva was cut off, and City were forced to play wide with every attack. It was an excellently executed strategy from Arsenal.
Coquelin and Cazorla were the standout players. The former was the brick wall in front of the back four, while Santi did everything going the other way.
This marks Arsenal’s first win in Manchester for some time. Let’s hope these match-winning tactics aren’t just a one-off.